Often it takes a tragedy to bring a family together. While no real tragedy occurred, the two groups that represent “the family” of CT landlords are collaborating for the first time. What created the cooperation and dialogue started last legislative session when many harmful housing and anti-landlord policies made their way into proposed legislation.
The CT Coalition of Property Owners (CCOPO) and the CT Property Owners Alliance leaders, John Souza and Bob DeCosmo began to communicate as they covered different parts of Connecticut and operated with different styles of legislative advocacy. They quickly discovered that the exchange of ideas and information was a good thing and they had common interests and goals.
Each group operates a little differently than the other and has carved a niche for themselves while providing different benefits but they found they can work extremely well together on policy matters.
The CCOPO is active in several CT cities and has had a lobbyist on their legislative team. They meet and discuss issues monthly at a luncheon in Hartford and help support individual landlord groups as part of their coalition. They also host an annual boat trip down the CT River in June after the Legislative session ends and have been doing so for many years.
The CTPOA also operates in several CT cities and has led a grass roots political advocacy effort at the Capitol. They provide educational resources to their members and network with many real estate agents and Realtor Boards across Connecticut. Their website contains informational resources for their paid members. The CTPOA is also licensed to operate a Consumer Debt Collection Agency under the trade name of “The Landlord Collection Agency” in Connecticut.
For 2020, both groups will need to grow their membership base and solicit contributions to help defer the costs for lobbying for landlords in the upcoming session. In addition to the Government Affairs efforts, both groups are striving to improve the housing conditions in CT cities and educate their members on best business practices.
They held their first joint legislative committee meeting on January 11 to get some ideas on the table. What we know so far is landlords can expect more social media outreach this year as well as several public events and fundraisers. Both understand that they need to engage their membership in active participation to help protect private ownership of rental housing.
Below is a photo taken at a caffeine fueled legislative committee breakfast meeting on 1/11/2020. Pictured from L to R; Adam Bonoff, John Souza, Kim Opperman, Eric Rodgers, Bob De Cosmo, Lin Yang, Dave Haberfeld and Rick Bush